You may know Freitag for their bags and backpacks made from old shipping tarps. But the Swiss-based company, who are something of a pioneer in the upcycling game, are about to make waves in the world of fashion. Their inspiration comes from an unusual source: their own workers.
When looking into workwear and uniforms for their staff, the Freitag board found that they couldn't get material that met their exacting standards. They were looking for fabric that was tough, sustainably produced, compostable and made in Europe to cut down on the air miles. So, they decided to make their own.
Freitag call the end result F-abric. It combines sustainable yarns like hemp and linen, and combines them with modal, which is a cellulose fiber sourced from beech trees. Tough, durable, but wearable, F-abric was the starting point for a capsule range of workwear that includes work trousers and dresses, unisex t-shirts and even a backpack.
Extensively tested in Freitag's own facility in Zurich to make sure the clothes could stand up to factory conditions, the range has an austere yet graceful line, matching the brand's own cool design aesthetic. It's sustainability creds are impeccable--by keeping the work largely in-house, Freitag were able to shorten their supply chain significantly, and the whole line conforms to Oeko-Tex standards. With a hint of pride, Freitag say that the range was produced with a chemical profile so limited that you could swaddle a baby in a swatch of F-abric without worrying. And of course, the clothes tick the end-of-use box as well by being completely compostable.
It's wonderful to see a company that cares so much for its workers that it's prepared to design a whole new line of workwear for them from the ground up. It'll be interesting to see if the range ever makes it to the wider market, or what the future is for F-abric outside this admirable but sandboxed experiment. Let's all try it out!